When my friend Melanie* got engaged to Josh*, I was happy for them because they were so perfect for each other. Even while they were dating, they were a power couple. I knew that their relationship would become even stronger once they got married. However, even though I absolutely love Melanie and was really excited about her wedding, her engagement wasn’t easy for me. Sometimes, I simply felt discouraged and hopeless, rather than celebratory.
Single Girl, if you have a friend who’s engaged, please don’t despair. Instead, make the conscious choice to love her well throughout this special season of her life. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Prepare for Your Relationship to Change.
I really hate change. Unfortunately, when Melanie got engaged, that’s exactly what life did—it changed. The changes that accompanied her engagement were very natural and normal, but I still didn’t like them—which is why I’m encouraging you to have appropriate expectations for the upcoming season of your friend’s engagement and marriage.
Single Girl, if you have a friend who recently got engaged, be ready for your relationship with her to change. Preparing for change looks different for different people, but it starts with reminding yourself of the truth: your friend still loves you and cares about you, but her relationship with her soon-to-be husband is going to a be a higher priority now than it ever has been. She might not be able to spend as much time with you as she used to, but that doesn’t mean that your relationship with her is over; you simply may have to be more patient and flexible.
2. Offer to Help Her but Give Her Space.
I offered to help Melanie with whatever wedding things she needed help with, but she didn’t end up needing my help. She wasn’t trying to offend me or exclude me from helping; she was simply letting her family have the involvement that they wanted to have in preparing for her special day. I had to give her space to prepare for her wedding and for marriage.
Single Girl, it’s important to offer your help to your engaged friend so that she knows you want to support her during this exciting-yet-stressful season of her life. But don’t be offended if she doesn’t need your help preparing for her wedding; she simply may have other people in her life who are already helping her. Let other people (especially her family) be involved in the process, and let your friend have the space that she needs to prepare for her wedding and for her life as a wife.
3. Remember That Your Friend’s Engagement Isn’t About You.
Melanie’s relationship with Josh isn’t about me; it’s about them and how they can work together to expand God’s kingdom—and I feel confident that they will. While I’m thankful that Melanie has been a considerate friend throughout her entire relationship with Josh, I realize that Melanie matters just as much as I do in our friendship. In her rejoicing, I’m called to rejoice with her (Romans 12:15). In her weeping, I’m called to weep with her (Romans 12:15). Her wedding day certainly wasn’t easy for me, but ultimately, I celebrated with her because she’s my friend and I love her.
Single Girl, I know that it’s hard to have an engaged friend because you probably want to be engaged, too. I know it’s not easy to talk about her beautiful engagement ring or the wedding ceremony details or the color of the lingerie she bought for her honeymoon. But try not to focus on yourself and how you feel right now. This engagement isn’t about you; it’s about your friend who has found the one whom her soul loves (Song of Solomon 3:1-4). And that’s worth celebrating.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 ESV)
*Names have been changed.